Opened 10 years ago

Closed 6 years ago

#6106 closed enhancement (fixed)

Suggested improvements for Installer (might affect other parts)

Reported by: xeon3d Owned by: korli
Priority: normal Milestone: R1
Component: Applications/Installer Version: R1/alpha2
Keywords: Cc:
Blocked By: Blocking:
Has a Patch: no Platform: All

Description

Problem:

At the moment, and I'm not the only one that noticed it, one of the worst Haiku parts is Installer. While it looks preety much as it's BeOS counterpart (save for the progress bar and a few bits more) it is much slower to install Haiku than BeOS on the same computer (assuming both are installable ofc).

Cause: This is due to the fact that the files layout is not really optimized for reading, so drives seek a lot while installing due to the great number of small files present on the CD (.h files and some other extensions as well).

Effect: This leads to a long "installation time" (which IMHO contradicts the "speedy" factor of Haiku), noise (most notable on old and/or laptop ones) and a shorter life for the mechanic part of the drive (which takes a toll if it's already old).

Possible Solutions: There are a number of possible solutions:

  • Reorganizing the file layout so that the drive won't have to seek as much. (Sadly I tried looking for an article that explained this, but I was unable to find one, maybe due to the fact that I'm tired)
  • Zipping the non-essential-for-boot/running small files in the image and extracting them at the install process. Reading + extracting a 10 or 20MB file should be faster than copying 10000 small files.
  • Adding an option to Bootman / Installer to read CD contents to RAM block-wise (as reading them file-wise would be even slower) and installing from there. This could be autodetected (if lets say >1GB of RAM is present) + an option to install using the old way, or just manual (force the user to choose which way he wants to install it.

Conclusion I think this can be considered important and not-as-important as well, depending on from which side you look at it.
While the current installer works perfectly (which makes it not-as-important), the Haiku installing process (and the boot from CD process as well to some point) are considered slow.
Those two processes (Install/Run-from-CD) are one of the first things the user experiences when he tries Haiku. It does not give a very good first impression if you ask me and this is what makes it important.

Haiku is coded and getting to be known for being a speedy OS, even on old hardware.
It is actually faster for me to build Haiku and install it directly to a partition than to install it from a CD and all this on fairly modern hardware (HP 6530b notebook: C2D P8400/2GB Ram/160GB Sata II HD)

Change History (6)

comment:1 by axeld, 10 years ago

Alpha 2 actually includes a device level cache for CDs - this makes booting as well as installing Haiku from CD really fast on the machine I tested it with. I haven't compared it to BeOS, but I don't remember it being particularly fast, even though it contained much less software than Haiku does.

With today's hardware, though, it's no wonder that Haiku can be built faster than installed from CD: CDs are slow, and I can build a complete Haiku image in less than 4 minutes.

Since BeOS cannot not run on your hardware, I wonder if you used a virtual machine to install it?

In any case, Haiku should install pretty fast since alpha 2. If it doesn't for you (you actually do not give any clue how long it takes for you), there is probably something wrong.

comment:2 by brunobratwurst, 10 years ago

I just installed BeOs Max to partition and initialize my drive, since Haiku installer still lacks the possibility to install to / or use 2 Harddisks. Haiku is not able to install to my primary harddisk, but BeOs is...

same to bootman... I had to use BeOs its bootman, since Haiku will not see the BeOs partitions created by BeOs partition manager on my primary drive.

It is not possible to start Haiku on secondary drive and then use the installer to install Haiku from the CD to another partition.

And yes Haiku R1A2 is much faster to install with CD than before. But it makes o lot more problems than the Alpha2 to install to my hardware... (yes I reported them already).

comment:3 by xeon3d, 10 years ago

Alpha 2 actually includes a device level cache for CDs - this makes booting as well as installing Haiku from CD really fast on the machine I tested it with. I haven't compared it to BeOS, but I don't remember it being particularly fast, even though it contained much less software than Haiku does.

Not everyone is testing Haiku on a fast machine, tho. I'm testing it on a Celeron 1Ghz with 1GB of RAM (and my Laptop but that's not what I'm speaking about) and BeOS is *way* faster to install than Haiku.

With today's hardware, though, it's no wonder that Haiku can be built faster than installed from CD: CDs are slow, and I can build a complete Haiku image in less than 4 minutes.

True, I can build it faster than it takes to install it on the Laptop. Of course, on the Celeron building it is awfully slow (and slower than the already slow cd install).

Since BeOS cannot not run on your hardware, I wonder if you used a virtual machine to install it?

BeOS does install (and run perfectly) on my Celeron.

In any case, Haiku should install pretty fast since alpha 2. If it doesn't for you (you actually do not give any clue how long it takes for you), there is probably something wrong.

It's been a few days since I've installed it on the Celeron (and I have since removed it), but if I had to say a number... I'd say more than 15 minutes. And I don't think there is anything wrong, at least with the system itself. I'm a OS addict (I love to try and fiddle with most OSes) and every other OS (including but not only Ubuntu, BeOS 5 Distros, Zeta, Debian) install as fast as I expect them to since there is no frantic lens seeking or gazillion 15Kb (wild guess) files to be copied.

comment:4 by xeon3d, 10 years ago

Oh, I forgot to add... the lens seeking also occurs on the Laptop as well (HP 6530b with a C2D P8400/2GB/160GB SATA2 HD and one of the best DVD-RW drives I've seen in laptops).

In my understanding all the Installer app does is copy files + write the boot sector. If that's indeed what happens, what are the disadvantages of zipping up the gazillion small files (which prolly most of them are part of the development software that comes with Haiku) and making the installer read and extract just one (or 2, 3...) big zip file?

comment:5 by axeld, 10 years ago

It boots from a full Haiku installation, and also serves as a live CD, and therefore needs a complete set of files.

You did not mention the Celeron in your bug report at first. Can you provide a syslog output of a CD boot with the Celeron? Most interesting would be if the following line is part of it:

scsi_cd: Using IOSchedulerSimple instead of IOCache to avoid memory allocation issues

Because that would explain the situation (remember, there comes a lot more software with Haiku than comes with BeOS). Now, 1 GB of RAM should really be enough to use the cache, I would guess, at least (which would also not completely relieve the disc from seeking).

Also, did you use the ISO or anyboot image? The latter is known to be slower, especially without the cache.

comment:6 by bonefish, 6 years ago

Keywords: Installer slow removed
Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

I think this can be considered fixed with the introduction of PM. Regarding installation time Haiku wipes the floor with BeOS, now. :-)

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